Court questions NAB culture of arrests

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By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) culture of arresting suspects before going on an evidence hunt. The remarks were made during the hearing of a bail plea filed by NAB suspect Faisal Kamran Qureshi. A three-member bench presided by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah noted that the antigraft watchdog took suspects into custody before collecting evidence. Justice Alam questioned why the country’s top accountability regulator does not expediate its inquries. â€oeWhy does NAB not make arrests once it has completed its inquiry and legal proceedings?†asked Justice Alam. â€oeIt appears that the bureau first places the suspect behind bars then looks for evidence and testimonies against them.†NAB prosecutor Imranul Haq explained bureau’s practice as an pre-emptive measure to prevent record tampering. He said Qureshi had been arrested in an inquiry pertaining to fraudulent practices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. â€oeA reference will be filed soon,†he added and promised that NAB would conclude proceedings soon. However, Qureshi’s counsel maintained that his client was innocent and had already faced a Federal Investigation Agency investigation on the matter. â€oeHe has returned the amount.†But Haq argued that Qureshi had not returned the entire sum.